Wellmark's Set the Pace Challenge returns to Grand Blue Mile

By Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield on Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Set the Pace Challenge
Win $10,000 for a community health improvement project 

DES MOINES, Iowa (March 3, 2022) — Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® announces the return of the Set the Pace Challenge during the Grand Blue Mile. This year, registrants can participate virtually or in person on April 26 in downtown Des Moines, coinciding with the 112th edition of the Drake Relays presented by Xtream® powered by Mediacom®. The challenge encourages Iowans to develop sustainable, healthy habits to adopt throughout 2022. 

As part of the challenge, the community with the highest percentage of its residents participating in the in person or virtual Grand Blue Mile — measured by the number of registrants for a given ZIP code against its total population — will be awarded $10,000 to use on a project that promotes safe, inclusive and accessible places in which to be active, such as a park, playground or trail. Additional information and resources, including past project videos and a digital toolkit for communities are available here

“Participating in Wellmark’s Set the Pace Challenge couldn’t be easier this year as we’re giving Iowans the opportunity to engage in the setting that suits them best — in person or virtually,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark’s marketing activation & alliance manager and Grand Blue Mile co-race director. “Wellmark constantly strives to improve community health and this challenge provides a tremendous incentive for Iowans to enjoy a family-friendly physical activity, while working together to create inclusive and accessible green spaces, right in their own hometowns.”

Register today

Registration for the 2022 virtual Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark is now open at grandbluemile.com. Registration is $15 for youth and $20 for adults. As part of Wellmark’s commitment to improving the health of Iowans, all proceeds benefit Iowa Kidstrong youth fitness programs and support student participation in the annual Drake Relays.


About the Grand Blue Mile
Grand Blue Mile, a Drake Relays event, is an annual one-mile fitness run/walk presented by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield to engage individuals at all stages of fitness, encourage healthy habits and celebrate personal achievement. The annual wellness event, established in 2010, includes recreational, competitive and invitational events featuring a field of elite male and female track and field athletes from around the world. Proceeds from the event benefit Iowa Kidstrong, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting healthy, active lifestyles among youth. For more information, visit grandbluemile.com. 

About the Drake Relays
The Drake Relays presented by Xtream powered by Mediacom has served as “America’s Athletic Classic” since its first running in 1910. The annual competition, hosted by Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, is recognized internationally as a destination for the world’s premier track & field athletes across multiple professional and amateur divisions. In 2020, the Drake Relays was named a Silver Level event on the World Athletics Continental Tour, one of only two meets in the United States to earn Silver Level status. In addition to its signature stadium competition, the Drake Relays includes two marquee road running events open to the general public — the Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Road Races. For more information, visit drakerelays.org.

About Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Wellmark, Inc. (Wellmark.com) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., and Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc., and Wellmark Advantage Health Plan, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc., and Wellmark Advantage Hea